Written answers

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Department of Justice and Equality

Departmental Data

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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262. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of bicycles which have been stolen in each of the past five years in the Dublin metropolitan region including to date in 2022; the number that have been recovered and returned to their owners; the understanding of the gardaí in respect the market for these bicycles; the strategy that is being pursued to reduce this number; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57153/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, theft is an offence under section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. Anyone convicted of a theft offence is liable to a penalty of a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment. Under section 14 of the Act, a person found guilty of robbery (theft using coercion or force) is potentially liable on conviction on indictment to life imprisonment. As the Deputy will appreciate, the sentence in any individual case is a matter for the presiding Judge.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that a search of the PULSE database was conducted to identify any incident of theft/unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle reported in the DMR between 1 January 2017 up to 15 November 2022. Please be advised that the Garda authorities are unable to provide a count of bicycles which were recovered/returned to owners.

The table below sets out the number of bike thefts reported in the DMR during this period.

Year Reported 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 *2022 (to 15/11/2022)
Incident Count 4073 3637 3720 3638 3298 3067
*These figures are operational and may be liable to change. Crime counting rules are applied.

The Deputy may be aware that there are a number of initiatives being taken by An Garda Síochána to tackle bike theft, including the ‘Lock it or Lose it’ initiative which focuses on reminding the public to take extra precautions to keep their bikes safe by locking them in the most secure way possible.

The Blue Bike scheme has also been designed to highlight bike theft hotspots by placing an end of life bike, painted blue, in such areas with a large sign warning members of the public to lock their bikes and be aware of bike theft. This scheme has three goals:

1. To warn the public that bike thieves are operating in the area;

2. To deter crime by informing offenders that An Garda Síochána are monitoring the area; and

3. To thereby create a safer place for members of the public to lock and secure their bikes.
I am informed that, in addition to the ‘Lock it or Lose it’ and Blue Bike initiatives, Gardaí will be resuming property marking schemes and the use of so-called ‘bait bicycles’ in areas which have been identified as bike theft hotspots. Other responses that will be pursued by Gardaí include surveillance of known offenders, the monitoring of any offenders’ current bail conditions and where necessary the appropriate action of any breach of their bail with the relevant courts, and proactive policing, both overt and covert, of hotspot areas.

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